Do you ever struggle with getting things done on time? Maybe you just don’t seem to stick with your goals? Self-sabotage can be a subtle phenomenon. You’ll know it’s taking place when everything is going well and you’re making great progress, and then all of sudden things fall apart, and you find yourself stunned, asking “What the hell happened!?” It’s not always easy to recognize these self-sabotaging tendencies on the surface, but when we look at a deeper level we find that we are fraught with fear, uncertainty, doubt, unresolved anger, shame, and guilt. All of which can impact us and others in a negative way, blocking our success and keeping us stuck in a rut. Are you ready to conquer yourself and be free of self-sabotage? In his new book Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine explains the 10 different “saboteurs” that may be infiltrating your thinking and behavior, and secretly impairing your success. The first step to conquering yourself is to become aware of the saboteurs in your life. Explore which of these seems to resonate most with you. 1. The Judge – The self-critic who finds faults with self, others, and circumstances. The judge focuses on what’s wrong with others and pesters the self about shortcomings and past mistakes. This is the master saboteur and may be the cause of most of our doubt and self-limitations. 2. Stickler – This is the perfectionist side of us who has a strong need for order and organization to a debilitating extent. A stickler isn’t very flexible in how they see things, and therefore is hard to please, often irritated and frustrated with other people and situations. 3. Pleaser – This is the part of us that must be accepted and make everyone happy. The pleaser has a strong need to be liked and will neglect their personal needs as a result of this. They want to please others so badly they will sell themselves short of personal potential if they feel others will disapprove. 4. Over-Achiever – This is the part of us who must be the best and bases their self-worth on accomplishments. Self-acceptance is a conditional part of the next achievement. The over-achiever is a workaholic, who can get burnt out and lose touch with relationships and other important connections. 5. Victim – When the victim emerges people feel sorry for themselves and look to everyone else for answers and help. They want to be rescued and will feign helpfulness to get attention and affection. By brooding on all their problems the victim wastes much of their energy that could be otherwise put to good use. 6. Skeptic – The skeptic in us is very rational and tends to over-analyze decisions and ideas. This type of person doesn’t handle others’ emotions very well and may appear cold and distant. They may struggle to take action as they must rationally understand everything before buying in. 7. Worry and anxiety – Many people are sabotaged by idle worries and anxiety about what could go wrong and all the possible problems they might have to face. When we are only focused on the potential danger and are afraid to taking any risk we pass up many potentially great opportunities. 8. Malcontent or restless – This person is never content and easily distracted. They jump from one project to the next without making much significant progress. They are scattered, unorganized, and generally impatient, and there is a need for immediate gratification in order to sustain any effort. 9. Controller – Having a strong need to be in control and take charge can lead to unnecessary conflict and strife. The controller may have difficulties working with others, and get angry and intimidating when things don’t go their way. The lack of flexibility limits the scope of possibility, and leaves people and the controller feeling resentful and anxious. 10. Avoider – This is someone who avoids difficult problems, and may ultimately procrastinate and resist anything that is unpleasant. What is avoided doesn’t get solved or dealt with and thus problems continue to surface without any resolution. The avoider has a major problem with following through. After reviewing this list, which of the traits seems to be the strongest within you?
Dealing with your core issues
All of these saboteurs come out in different forms and fashions. They may present themselves through surface addictions with alcohol, work, sex, shopping, or food, or as other unhealthy patterns such as, control issues, lack of trust, neglecting personal needs, or being consumed with negativity. How they present themselves can certainly cause a problem, but it is not where you will find a solution. The solution comes from a deeper place. It comes from an underlying belief about who you are. If you find yourself sabotaging your own success, consider what the root cause is. Are you afraid of failure because you feel insignificant? Do you sabotage relationships because of an inability to give and receive love? Maybe you’re afraid of abandonment or have been emotionally abused? Regardless of how you sabotage yourself, consider where this tendency coming from? What is behind the behavior and limiting beliefs? This is the foundation to begin building from. Whatever the cause, uncovering it can allow you to overcome it. Peace is within. We must go inside ourselves; only then will we begin to peel away the layers of defense, insecurity, and fear that keep us spinning out of control and limiting ourselves from reaching our full potential.
This is where I provide my personal connection to the ideas in the post. I hope you will join the conversation by leaving a comment, and offering your personal connection to these ideas as well. I believe everyone is capable of so much more than they are willing to even imagine, but for some reason we sell ourselves short and become complaisant with our situation. I was in this state for a long time. I was so afraid of failure I just wanted a practical and stable path. (controller, worry and anxiety) I assumed that this is what life was supposed to be like and I was willing to following my meager destiny. (the victim) It was easy to stay stuck when I wasn’t smart enough, old enough, experienced enough, or talented enough to make the transformation that would change my life for the better. (the judge) The awareness of these saboteurs is so valuable because they are a part of our automatic thinking. Once we begin to notice them, we can dispute them and begin to co-create our destiny. I still go through spurts of being in a funk where the “Judge” and “Victim” tries to get me down, but now I’m more prepared for them.I talk back to them and so can you. Be aware of what you think and say about yourself and others. Less you end up being your own worst enemy.